Friday, June 14, 2024

Canadian guitarist headlines January blues show in Oaxaca

Award-winning Canadian blues guitarist Paul DesLauriers is set to headline the Blues on the Beach music festival in Huatulco, Oaxaca, on January 18.

DesLauriers will be joined by American blues and soul singer Annika Chambers and Canadian blues harmonica player Guy Bélanger.

The festival has attracted visitors and locals alike since 2012, supporting a local nonprofit organization with the proceeds.

The Paul DesLauriers Band is known as one of Canada’s most renowned blues groups, according to information provided by the festival. It took home the entertainer of the year and electric act of the year awards at the Maple Blues Awards in both 2016 and 2017. DesLauriers and his fellow musicians have also won various individual Maple Blues Awards.

The band also took second place at the 32nd International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2016. The band’s most recent album, Bounce, was released in June 2019.

From Houston, Texas, Annika Chambers honed her vocal cords singing gospel music in church, but her talent brought her notice during her military service. After a performance singing the national anthem, she went on tour in Kosovo and Iraq to boost morale among her fellow soldiers.

Chambers returned to Houston after two tours of duty and formed her own band, the Houston All-Stars. They were nominated for best new artist album at the Blues Music Awards (BMA) in 2015, and in 2019 she was awarded the BMA for soul blues female artist.

Guy Bélanger’s touring career spans over four decades. Inspired by blues harmonica greats such as Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, James Cotton and Big Mama Thornton, he toured Europe and North America extensively before releasing his first studio album in 2008.

His latest, Eldorado, was released in October 2019. Bélanger’s awards include two Maple Blues Awards and 14 Lys Blues Awards.

The entertainers are the only people involved in the festival who receive payment. The rest of the proceeds will go to Un Nuevo Amanecer (A New Dawn), which works with local children who suffer from various disabilities, helping them to live as independently as possible.

The festival will be held at the Sea Soul Huatulco Beach Club on Huatulco’s Chahue Bay. Tickets cost 400 pesos (US $21) and are for sale at Resort Real Estate Services, Giordana’s Trattoria, Café Juanita, Restaurante Viena and Aventura Mundo.

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